Monarchy – one of the forms of monocracy – one-person rule and the name of the state system, at the head of which is the monarch. Monarchy differs from other forms of monocracy (dictatorship, presidential rule, party chieftaincy) by the hereditary succession of power and the possibility of family-kin filling the political environment. Monarchy is in historical opposition to republican statehood and competes with republican democracy, but can be combined with monarchic democracy, i.e., the most ancient forms of tribal, military, and urban democracy.
The monarchies of the world – and there are 44 of them today – are most often organized according to the principle “The king reigns, but does not rule.” The main example is, of course, Great Britain, the standard of constitutional monarchy. For most British, the crown is not just a historical souvenir but an institution that is quite efficient and necessary in the modern world. Where does this attitude to the monarchy come from? The first thing that attracts attention is the official functions of monarchs and charity. Also, the monarch acts as a kind of “goodwill ambassador”, which is also an important function. Like many other political institutions, the monarchy has constantly evolved; otherwise, it simply would not have survived – it would have been swept away by new forms of social order.
There are at least two completely non-standard monarchies. The Vatican is the only absolute theocracy, as its head, Pope not only reigns and rules but also determines the worldview of more than 1.5 billion Catholics. The second notable exception is Sweden. Its monarch can only be called a crowned personage at a stretch. Instead, it is the only official in the world whose position is inherited. Yes, the mystical side of the monarchy in the modern world has faded somewhat, but at the same time, its historical component, its continuity has not diminished. The fact that current monarchs are perceived as ordinary people does not affect their historical role and significance.
Your clicks help us to continue
Example of Monarchy
The six monarchies of the world are generally considered absolute. Modern absolutism is perfected in Brunei, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace. Even though this country is at the level of Great Britain in terms of GDP per capita, the average Bruneian is not much richer than the average Malaysian. The fact is that the lion’s share of this former British colony’s oil and gas revenues belongs to the Sultan himself. The Sultan of Brunei is the monarchial head of the state of Brunei and head of government in his capacity as Prime Minister of Brunei.
Only the Sultan himself can amend the constitution. Political parties are forbidden, and all social organizations are subject to the permission of the monarch. However, Brunei’s rigid absolutism is a kind of social contract. The Sultan pays his subjects a monthly pension and pays all their school and medical bills in exchange for full power.